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dedicated to quality
treatment for all Veterans
and their families"
New Beginnings...Veterans Sound Off!
"Believe me, every man has his secret sorrows, which the world knows not;
and oftentimes we call a
man cold, when he is only sad."
...Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
FREEDOM ISN'T FREE
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young soldier saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard at the
Bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington. . . .
No, freedom isn't free!
A Vist to the Wall... Robert A. Berryhill
I would like to go back to The Wall, I have only been there once and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done and it was with a group from my Vet Center. There is a lot of pain there as well as a feeling of peace at the same time. You want to run and hide for you feel that you let them down by coming home and at the same time you can feel them watching over you telling you they understand and hope that you find peace with your self.
So many conflicting feelings and the doors in your mind that are locked can open and overwhelm you from the rush of emotion that you feel. It can panic you or make you freeze where you are with tears of sorrow and joy and pray that they are in a better place; sometimes you feel like you want to join them but you hear a whisper in your mind almost as if they know what you are thinking and they let you know that it is not your time yet.
The names of all the ones who have died since the war are not etched in the stone but you can feel their presence also with their friends that they left behind, and while you are there the force from all of them is felt so strong as if they are all saying it's all right.
It helps to ease the pain but for a while. I think that they are with us always trying to help, but we just have trouble hearing them for we try to block out so much, but they do their best to look after us and care for us as much as we care for them. If we would only stop and listen carefully we could probably hear them trying to reach out and help us find some peace, for they know we will join them some day when the time is right and we don't need to rush to get there for they will be waiting for us and helping us until it is time.Copyright 1998 by author Robert Berryhill
home is where my heart is
this is where I should be
but I sit here tonight
not remembering my home
but remembering the enemy
home should be a safe place
this is where I should be
but I am in my bunker
being safe from my family
home is where I used to be
now I live in agony
please tell me what happened to me
I only want to defend my country
home is where I will never be
because my country has learned to hate me
now in my mind I live in that other country
as I sit here tonight I wonder who was my enemy
and in what country that would be
Vietnam 69, 70
copyright by author Leonard Doty, 1998
I remember wanting to go over there, I thought that it was the thing to do, to help those people to
change their way of life.
I remember the god awful 100 degree plus heat, the blisters all over me. at night it may cool down to
90 degrees, and all those damned bugs.
I remember too, the monsoons, raining so hard that you couldn't see, sometimes 24 hours a day, and
then the cold at night, and never being able to keep your feet dry.
I remember the watches at night, 4 hrs. on, 4 hrs. off. and never being able to sleep. I was always too
scared to sleep, I was afraid that I wouldn't wake up to see tomorrow.
I remember all the good, cold, c-rats. It sure would have been nice sitting home to one of mom's home
cooked meals. No mail, no cigarettes, good pay, but no place to spend it.
I remember going on R"r and my wife telling me that Louie had just died on some stupid hill only 200
miles from me.
I remember all the dead bodies, and the pieces of bodies. I remember and what they had looked like
before the rockets, mortars, etc. tore off all of their limbs.
I remember all the sounds, and the smells, especially the burning flesh.
I remember the old woman who was shot between the eyes, and she was conscious. The little boy
with his legs gone, and the little girl that I wanted so bad to take home with me.
I remember shooting the old man running down the side of the river, and just watching in awe as he
just blew apart.
I remember these things, and so many , many more. For Louie, Kevin, David, and Charles, and all of
the others the war ended a long time ago.
The war still goes on for me, everyday of my life. I see it, I smell it, I taste it, I hear it, everytime that I
close my eyes.
Bob Davis circa 1982
Going to war was not a fun place.
You have to have the balls,
when you were in high school
and you walked the halls.
No one would tell us what was in store.
Your mind would take over
the first time you heard the weapons roar.
You knew you were at war.
For just that one moment
the world would change for evermore.
High school was over
Now you have graduated
to a casualty of war.
Now and forever
your mind would be at war.
When you got older
of 69, 70
you would start to lose this war.
This would be a fire fight
like you have never seen before.
The war would rage on forever
fighting for your soul.
No matter what you could never forget
that you had been at war.
copyright by author L. Doty 1998
Maybe someday I can get up in the morning and feel good about myself.
Maybe someday I won't need drugs to get to sleep.
Maybe someday after I get out of bed I have had a full nights sleep.
Maybe someday after the full nights sleep I can say I did not have a bad dream.
Maybe someday I can walk down the street and say hi to my neighbors and know that they don't think I am a mad baby killer.
Maybe someday I can hold my head up and look everyone in the eye and feel good about it.
Maybe someday I can have friends.
Maybe someday I can trust someone again.
Maybe someday I can have a normal sex life.
Maybe someday I won't have a look of death on my face and in my eye.
Maybe someday I won't scare everyone I look at.
Maybe someday I won't have memories and ghosts.
Maybe someday there will be no pain.
Maybe someday I won't need the VA.
Maybe someday I won't have to sit in the corner of the room.
Maybe someday I can just sit down and talk to someone.
Maybe someday I can get rid of all my guns I sleep with.
Maybe someday I can have a day that I don't think about Vietnam..
Maybe someday my life will be over and none of this will have happened..
Maybe someday nobody will ever know we were....
copyright by author L. Doty, 1998
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